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Self-confidence and getting ahead at work
Greater self-confidence can be a key determinant of progression in the workplace. This is according to new research from the University of Melbourne, which found a strong correlation between high self-esteem and occupational success.
The study, entitled The Minority Report, showed those who believed themselves to be highly confident throughout different stages of their lives - including while at primary school, high school, university and during present day - received promotions quicker and enjoyed higher salaries.
Dr Reza Hasmath from the School of Social and Political Sciences at the learning institute said the findings build on previous studies that suggested taller people may earn more money and better-looking individuals are likely to advance further in the workplace.
"We now know it's actually higher confidence levels - which may be a byproduct of attractiveness and height - which make all the difference," the expert added.
The findings suggest children should be encouraged to take part in confidence-building activities from an early age, the authors noted.
However, Chartered Psychologist Professor Chris Lewis, the principal of Aver Psychology, expressed some scepticism:
"As I can only judge this pilot study by what has been posted on the 'The Melbourne Newsroom' site I might be doing it a disservice. This is especially because it does not say how the construct 'self-confidence' was operationalised in the study.
"On the face of it seems to present little new, as similar and possibly overlapping concepts - 'self-awareness', 'self-efficacy', 'taking responsibility for your own actions', 'conscientiousness', 'sense of wellbeing' and generally feeling good about yourself - have been shown to be related to success in the workplace. Even if the construct 'self-confidence' is different in this study, it is still likely to be an arbitrary metric that does not permit inter-individual comparison.
"As this study defines success as 'getting ahead' rather than just 'improved work performance', which everyone could exhibit, there seems little point in developing self- confidence in children to address the issue of 'getting ahead' as this is both relative and rationed. However, helping develop self-confidence from an early age, as a way of enhancing general wellbeing, could be a positive outcome from this research."
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